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Review of Batman & Catwoman - Batman Animated Action Figures

DC Collectibles
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Introduction

I'm like a lot of you - I've been collecting for a very long time. Us old timers have our favorites from the 80's and early 90's, but one series that tends to be high on everyone's list is the Batman Animated figures. Remember how hard it was to find a Penguin? Do you have a story about how you or a friend managed to snag a Robin's Dragster? And do you still wish they'd kept the line rolling?

If you said 'yes' to that last one, then you'll be happy to know that DC Collectibles decided to return to that particular well, but in a slightly different scale this time around. Back in the day, 5" was the scale most superheroes came in, but these days 6" seems to be the predominate choice, and they went with this larger size.

They are also producing figures based on different cartoons, mixing things up a bit. This first wave includes Batman, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze and Two-Face. I'm covering Batman (as seen in The New Adventures) and Catwoman (as seen on Batman: The Animated Series) tonight, but I'll be hitting up the other two very soon.

You can pick these up now at a variety of retailers, and most are selling them for $22 or so each.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Packaging - ***1/2
I really like this packaging, even if it isn't 'collector friendly'. You'll have to tear it up, but for the MOCers, you can easily display the figures in these packages and feel good about it. The artwork is great, based on the show each character comes from (for Batman, it's the New Adventures; for Catwoman, it's BTAS), but overall they could use a little more character specific personalization. There's also no mention on the card back of any of the other figures, but they do include a paper that shows off the first 12.

Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Sculpting - ****
Collectors have long sung the praises of the 6 - 7" scale, and in the last couple years companies have started to respond. With long time lines like Star Wars adopting the format, it was only a matter of time until we saw our beloved animated DC characters finally get released in this scale.

Batman comes in at about 6 1/4", if you include the ears, while Catwoman is slightly smaller at 5 1/2". The scale between them is good, and they match the on screen look perfectly.

Some people won't like the obtrusive joints, especially the hinge hips. But I'm all for it, particularly since it gives us so much better posability than we've had with past animated lines.

Some of the sculpted edges could be a little sharper, like around the bat logo or the cat belt, but this is a minor complaint, and I'm thrilled to get some of my favorite DC characters in plastic once again.

Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Paint - ***1/2
The paint work is generally clean and neat, even if the animated style doesn't really allow for a lot of small detail work.

The Bat logo has a small slip along the edge, and some of the colors are a tiny bit inconsistent in color and finish, but the issues are generally very minor, and very easy to overlook.

Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Articulation - Batman ***1/2; Catwoman *1/2
Unfortunately, all that good has been countered by one very, very big bad.

They've gone with a ton of articulation here, and that's a good thing.There's a ball jointed neck, ball shoulders, ball elbows, pin/post wrists, hinge hips, cut waist, pin knees and some sort of ankle. For Batman, it's just pin/post ankles, but for Catwoman there's also a terrific rocker joint on the foot.

All this articulation is fantastic - if it works and doesn't break. I generally avoid reviews of figures until I have them in hand and have done my own, to avoid my opinion getting colored by others. But even trying to avoid conversations on these figures, I've heard all about breakage issues with every one.  I managed to avoid this with Batman, carefully freeing up each joint one at a time. But Catwoman wasn't so lucky, and her left elbow snapped with only slight pressure. I had to glue it back together, and you should notice how stiff it is in all the poses.

Breakage like this is simply unacceptable, particularly when it appears to be a consistent problem across the line. This is a manufacturing defect, and a very serious one.

Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Accessories - ****
For regular collectors of DC Collectibles action figures (who used to be DC Direct), this category is going to be a surprise. Normally they aren't big on providing extras, but both of these figures have plenty of additional goodies.

Extra hands are the big add, and Batman comes with 4 full sets, plus an extra that has the grappling gun sculpted into the hand.

These hands swap pretty easily, and even with the small pegs, I had no fear of breaking them.

There's an extra grappling gun too, as well as one skinny batarang. There are several choices for holding the batarang, with both left and right hands designed to work with it.

Perhaps the best add for Batman is a second cape. The one he comes wearing is up over the shoulders, flowing to one side in a dynamic way. This allows for the arms to use their full range of movement.

The second cape is more traditional, covering the shoulders completely and hanging straight down the back. Pop off his head and you can easily swap the capes, giving you a choice of looks.

Catwoman also has has three sets of hands, sculpted to work with her various additional accessories. Again, they swap much more easily than I had expected, considering how small they are.

She also has a rubbery whip, and what looks like a pair of binoculars or night vision goggles. As a thief, she wouldn't be complete without some booty, and she has a valuable looking necklace that she can wear (if you pop off her head) or pawn.

She also has one of her kitty cats, who has four points of articulation of its own, one for each leg.

Finally, both characters come with a display stand, with artwork based on their show style. There is a clear plastic rod and clamp to hold them up, although neither really requires it. They can both stand great on their own, with a little patience. That's a good thing, because the clear rods have trouble fitting into the hole on the base. You'll need to whittle it down a bit - or carve open the hole - to get it to work.

Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Fun Factor - Batman ****; Catwoman *
This isn't really about Batman and Catwoman - your results could easily swap, or could be all one way or the other, depending on how things turn out with the joints on yours.

For me, Catwoman had the broken joint, Batman didn't. That means Batman is fun, and Catwoman is most definitely not. No one - no collector, no kid - thinks it's fun when a figure breaks moments out of the package.

Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Value - **1/2
Most six inch figures designed for the 'collectors' market these days run $20 - $22, and most don't have this many accessories or articulation. That makes these an easy average value in the current market, but if yours breaks, it won't make you any less angry.

Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Things to Watch Out For -
Obviously, you want to handle these joints with real care, and not just on Catwoman but on every figure.  Once you have the joint freed up you should be good, but until then, breakage is a very real possibility.

Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Overall - Batman ***1/2; Catwoman **1/2
As a lover of the original animated Batman style, this line has been one of my most anticipated in 2014. I love the sculpts, the extra articulation is much appreciated, and the load of accessories make them great toys.

The first 12 make up a terrific selection of characters, including one of my favorites, Man-bat. But with all the trouble they've had with breakage, my excitement has been severely tempered. This problem has been so widespread that DC Collectibles has to be very aware, and hopefully they are just as aware that it needs to be corrected by the second wave, a wave due out in just a month or two.

I will be ordering a second Catwoman to replace this one, because I really, really want these to display on the shelf. But if they can't correct the issues with breakage, the line isn't going to maintain the support it currently has.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - Batman ***1/2; Catwoman *1/2
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - Batman ****; Catwoman *
Value - **1/2
Overall - Batman ***1/2; Catwoman **1/2

Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has them for around $22 each.

- is also at $22.

- comes in at $22.50 each.

- Entertainment Earth has them for $23 each.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I started this site 15 years ago, after the BTAS figures had long since left shelves. But I have covered some later animated stuff, including the cool Quick fast food figures from overseas, as well as the Batman Animated Kubricks. I also covered some of the animated Justice League figures, which were similar to the style of the older figures.

Discussion:
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Batman & Catwoman animated action figures by DC Collectibles

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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